Jordanian tapped to lead jihadist forces in Syria

by Taylor Luck | Dec 13, 2012 | JORDAN TIMES

AMMAN — A Jordanian national has been tapped to lead jihadist forces in Syria, Islamist sources unveiled on Thursday.

According to a Syrian Islamist source, the Jabhat Al Nusra Li Ahl Al Sham coalition has named Mustafa Abdul Latif Al Saleh, nicknamed Abu Anas Al Sahabi, as commander — or emir — of jihadist forces in Syria following the death of leader Eyad Tobassi in a Daraa skirmish with regime forces on Wednesday.

Sahabi, a 38-year-old Zarqa resident and brother-in-law of former Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Mussab Zarqawi, was previously imprisoned by Syrian authorities between 2007 and 2010 and was detained in Jordan for his participation in a violent jihadist protest in Zarqa in April 2011.

Confirming Sahabi’s appointment, Jordanian jihadist movement leader Mohammed Shalabi stressed that Jordanian Islamists “have no influence” over the decision-making process within Jabhat Al Nusra (front of support) — a coalition of Islamist fighters with ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

“Although we support their holy war against the Assad regime, there are no ties, direct or indirect, between the Jordanian Salafist jihadist movement and Jabhat Al Nusra,” Shalabi said.

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